Publication Date: 8th Sep 2022
Written By: WorldWideWade.
Image Work: WorldWideWade.


Sofia Mantega grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. Her loving mother was in the city one day, buying her daughter a gift, when local police showed up to break up an escalating protest. The gunfire tragically hit and killed Sofia’s mother. When one of Sofia’s family members brought the news to her uncle, Sofia’s mutant power of wind manipulation carried the heartbreaking news to her ears.

At the funeral, Sofia could hear all of the hushed whispers of her family members, discussing how they didn’t want to take in a mutant child. She was sent to her father in Colorado, who had a successful supermarket business. He made it very clear that he had no desire for a daughter and commanded her to quickly learn English, get good grades and never use her mutant power. He said she would want for nothing, as long as she did nothing to embarrass him. Luckily for her, to counteract this cold demeanor, Sofia had one friendly presence in her new life in the form of her father’s assistant, Derek.

Sofia was full of optimism when she first went to school three weeks later. Despite learning passable English in such a short time, the other kids still made fun of her speaking and whispered about how they didn’t like her. On her sixteenth birthday, she hoped that her father or some of her classmates might want to celebrate with her, but she only received a cold shoulder. This finally made Sofia snap and she calmly left school and entered her father’s supermarket. Using her mutant powers, Sofia summoned powerful gusts of wind to obliterate the store without hurting any people.

The incident made national news and Sofia was berated by her father for ruining his reputation. He planned on sending her back to Venezuela but was interrupted by Dani Moonstar. Having seen the news, she had traveled to offer Sofia a spot at the Xavier Institute. Having nowhere else to go, Sofia graciously accepted the offer after a heartfelt goodbye to Derek. [New Mutants (2nd series) #1]

Upon arriving to the school, Sofia received a personal tour from Charles Xavier. After walking into one class for telekinetics, Sofia was introduced to Julian Keller. He was tasked with giving her a less stuffy tour, which ended with Sofia literally crashing his flight class. Although her incident of attempted flight ending in disaster, it actually endeared her to Julian and his group of friends. For the first time, other kids thought her powers were cool. Meanwhile, Moonstar came up with the idea to pair Sofia and a lonely girl named Laurie Collins as roommates. Laurie had pheromone powers that caused her to self-isolate, but Sofia quickly proved her wind powers meant Laurie never had to fear accidentally manipulating Sofia’s emotions. [New Mutants (2nd series) #2]

It wasn’t long before Julian was making moves on Sofia. At first, she was receptive and asked if he knew a place to go dancing. However, Julian insulted Laurie by calling her a freak among freaks. Sofia used compressed air to make him lose his balance and quickly abandoned him as a potential dance partner. Meanwhile, Laurie and Sofia’s friendship continued to grow and Sofia even encouraged Laurie to talk to the new boy Kevin, on whom Sofia suspected Laurie was developing a crush. [New Mutants (2nd series) #3-4]

Sofia, Laurie, Kevin and new arrival David started to eat lunch together and invited Dani, the person responsible for bringing them together, to eat with them. Dani admitted that she had another potential student to recruit in New York City. Sofia and the other three teens quickly begged to come along, as her father and Derek were there on business. The new mutant was named Josh who, not knowing that he himself was a mutant, had joined the Reavers under Donald Pierce. Josh participated in a plan to kidnap Sofia’s father, and by proximity Derek, in order to draw out his mutant daughter. When Derek failed to show up, the four teens asked the hotel if he had left a message. There was one, supposedly stating that Sofia’s father was now excited to see her and that they should all meet in the garage. Despite knowing that her father would never have sent such a note, the group went down and were attacked by the Reavers. Sofia and David put up a good fight, but Laurie was ambushed and stabbed in the back by Donald Pierce. [New Mutants (2nd series) #5] 

In the confusion, the Reavers were no longer paying attention to Sofia’s father and Derek. Derek wanted to rush over to help Sofia but her father ordered him to stay and protect him instead. Derek politely instructed him to go to hell before tackling a Reaver. The arrival of their chaperones, Dani and Karma, helped turn the battle around but not before an incredibly upset Kevin used his organic decaying powers to attempt to kill Pierce. While Dani used her fear illusions to prevent Kevin from committing murder, the new mutant Josh thankfully had the power to heal and was able to save Laurie’s life. Finally, Derek and Sofia had a touching reunion where Derek explained that he would be looking for a new job and was happy that Sofia was starting a new life with friends her own age.

When Josh arrived at the gates of Xavier’s, it was around the same time that Kevin was leaving the school. Dani also wanted to leave because she felt she had made a mistake with Kevin, but it was Sofia and her friends who convinced Dani that she should stay and be their school advisor. [New Mutants (2nd series) #6]

On Parents Week, Sofia was overjoyed that Derek stopped by to visit her and was completely surprised when her father also showed up. However, her excitement turned to rage when she realized her father had only appeared in an attempt to convince Derek to return to his old job. She yelled at Derek for seemingly manipulating her and her father to meet in this manner, despite his protests that she was mistaken. She yelled at them both to leave and nearly caused a disturbance with her powers if not for the intervention of Emma Frost. The woman shared some sage advice with Sofia that she shouldn’t cover up her anger and disappointment with relentless optimism. If she didn’t come to terms with her feelings, she would self-destruct. She then tried to pitch Sofia switching to her as an advisor but was abruptly cut off by an incensed Dani. While the two teachers argued over the best way to help Sofia, Laurie comforted her when she broke down in tears over her lack of a family. Laurie assured her that her family was now her friends at the school.

The drama continued when Josh and Julian got into a fist fight over his former Reaver status. Sofia helped break it up using her power to take down Julian and catch a falling Josh. Sofia managed to avoid detention and her and Laurie had an honest conversation about her feelings on her father. Sofia no longer wished to assume the best of him but she did feel bad about being unfair to Derek. Laurie surprised her by opening the door to their room where Derek was waiting and then took her leave as the two happily embraced. [New Mutants (2nd series) #8]

Sofia continued to support her friends whether it be through encouraging Laurie to act on her crush of Josh, or agreeing to help Josh, David and a visiting Rahne Sinclair find a homeless mutant in the neighborhood. When the group finally did find the young electricity-wielding girl named Noriko, she was trying to buy drugs. Sofia used her winds to scatter the pills, which freaked out the girl as they were her source of control. Noriko practically exploded with electricity and it was Sofia that convinced Laurie to calm her down with her pheromone powers. Despite managing to deliver Surge safely to the school, the group got detention for directly disobeying Dani’s orders not to search for her in the first place. Sofia continued to encourage Laurie to talk to Josh but Laurie explained that he only had eyes for Rahne now. [New Mutants (2nd series) #9-10]

When Josh was injured by Rahne accidentally, the whole group was worried that he may not make it unless he woke up to heal himself. David asked if Noriko wanted to come in with the others to see Josh but she said she would rather not. When Sofia asked Noriko why she wouldn’t see the boy that led them to save her, Noriko said she didn’t want to be around a judgmental guy like David. Sofia explained that David’s judging of Josh was complicated and that he only wanted to help Nori. She called Nori out that she did not have things under control on her own, as she had accidentally hurt an innocent woman on the streets. Sofia told Nori that Xavier’s school was a family that both protected and even criticized each other and it was her choice to be a part of that family. Fortunately, Sofia’s pep talk worked, as it was Nori’s electricity that was able to jolt Josh awake in time for him to recover with his own powers. They celebrated at the coffee shop, all five of them finally true friends. [New Mutants (2nd series) #12]

The school was destroyed when one of the X-Men’s many enemies attacked, but Xavier’s Institute was soon rebuilt and co-headmastered by power couple Cyclops and Emma Frost. Dani continued to mentor Sofia and her group of friends, but drama was soon to unfold when David learned that the student body would be split into training squads. The group felt passionately about not being split up, especially after they helped Nori recover a piece of her regulator gauntlets from the danger room. When Nori’s powers accidentally turned on a Sentinel attack scenario, Sofia and Laurie combined their powers to scare away the virtual soldiers. Josh complimented the pair and compared their teamwork to a modern “Fastball Special.” Afterwards, the group confronted Dani about the squads, and she assured them that they would be together. She even had them modify their new team outfits to their liking. At the opening assembly, the New Mutants squad was revealed to the school and Sofia’s mutant code name Wind Dancer was assigned, which she though was quite fitting. [New X-Men: Academy X #1-2]

Emma’s Hellions squad was also revealed during the assembly and Julian, now codenamed Hellion, provoked the New Mutants members, trying to convince Sofia to join his squad. When a scuffle broke out, Cyclops broke it up and declared the two teams would settle their differences by being the first opponents in the new intramural training sessions. Soon after, Dani brought back Kevin to be their sixth squad member and then announced that she had chosen David to be their leader. When David stated he wanted to focus on his studies and had no intention of being an X-Man, Sofia volunteered to lead instead. Her leadership was quickly criticized by Josh when some questionable decisions led to her team losing to the Hellions during the intramural. He claimed that she had no strategy and had abandoned her team to flirt with Julian. The loss and feedback severely dented her confidence but Laurie was able to help console her upset roommate. [New X-Men: Academy X #3-4]

More trouble followed when Kevin was charged with killing his father by the FBI. The advisors and students were split on whether they should cooperate with the law but an impassioned speech by Hellion seemed to inspire most of the students, including Sofia, to defend Kevin from the human authorities. After Dani stopped Sofia from helping Kevin escape and ultimately decided that Kevin should go with the FBI, the Hellions squad recruited Sofia to go rescue him. Icarus of the Hellions did not wish to participate and warned the New Mutants about what Sofia and the Hellions were doing. This led to a confrontation outside a train station in which David reasoned with Sofia that this was not on the right path. Sofia thought she needed to act and only Julian would tell her what to do. David explained that she was not a bad leader because she was unsure of what to do in a complicated situation and in fact Julian was a bad leader for thinking the solution was simple. This convinced Sofia to switch sides and the team was able to take out the Hellions under the leadership of David. Afterwards, David and Sofia agreed that they should co-lead the squad like the New Mutants team of old, as David was the brains but Sofia was the heart and soul. [New X-Men: Academy X #5-6]

Sofia continued to help co-lead the New Mutants with David over the course of the semester. She did seem a bit disappointed that Julian was no longer bugging her all of the time after she had turned against him. When a ghost appeared to start haunting the school, Sofia gathered her team and her advisor to hold a seance. They managed to summon the ghost who was a mutant teleporter that got caught in the explosion of the school’s earlier destruction and now existed in a half-life state. After it all worked out, Sofia admitted that she was not a medium and had looked up how to perform the ritual online. [New X-Men: Academy X #7-9]

The New Mutants seemed to be on point soon after this, easily beating the record for taking down a danger room version of the Hulk using Wallflower’s pheromones carried on Wind Dancer’s wind. Sofia invited Jay to a dance class with her and he gently teased about her and Julian’s chemistry. An embarrassed Sofia protested a little too much, pretty much confirming that she had feelings for the brash boy. Tragedy soon struck when a mind-controlled Wolverine killed one of their teachers, Northstar. Julian was surprisingly sullen about his former teacher’s death and he shared a moment of vulnerability with Sofia as the two were flying alone together. They bonded over how they first met at Northstar’s flight class and Julian admitted that, even though Northstar was tightly wound, he really did care about his students. Later that day, when Sofia ran across Julian skipping the memorial session to look tough in front of his guy friends, she admitted that she did not understand him. [New X-Men: Academy X #12-13]

All of the students were buzzing about the upcoming dance. Given recent drama between Laurie and Josh, Sofia suggested that the two of them go without boys. However, Julian soon entered the cafeteria bragging about the Hellions recent success in the field day standings and how that meant he should get to pick his date. He of course wanted Sofia to be his date, but she was not impressed with his arrogant attitude and rejected him. He chased after her and sincerely confessed how much he wanted to go with her. Sofia admitted that she did like it when it was just the two of them but couldn’t stand the posturing. Julian quickly pivoted to asking Sofia about her summer plans, of which she admitted her idea of staying with Laurie might not work out.

The night of the dance had everyone looking their best. Julian showed up with all three Stepford Cuckoos on his arm but quickly ditched them to dance with a stunningly dressed Sofia. While the two slow danced in front of everyone, Julian asked her to come stay with him at his parent’s place while they were on vacation. He wanted just the two of them to be together, alone like she preferred. The moment was interrupted by Laurie using her pheromone powers on David to kiss her and make Josh jealous. Sofia blew away the pheromones and verbally berated her best friend’s abuse of her powers. [New X-Men: Academy X #14]

The next day at the prize giving ceremony, Sofia conceded to Laurie’s mother that the New Mutants would not be getting a prize given the team’s chemistry being off lately. The Hellions won the prize to the surprise of no one and soon after the Blob showed up, injuring Laurie’s mother in the process. Dani alone was not enough to fend off the villain and soon the New Mutants and Hellions were working together to defeat the over-sized party-crasher. Julian again attempted to invite Sofia to his parents place with the other Hellions, but Sofia wanted to stay with Laurie and her mother after all, suggesting they spend time together in the future. As she looked out at her dysfunctional team, letting their own personal drama tear them apart, Julian assured her that Sofia was special and she could fix it. He sealed the moment with a kiss and told her he’d see her later.

The problem was more serious than Sofia thought, as soon Dani informed her that several of her team members had requested transfers off the team. Sofia insisted that all of the squad camp out by the lake and work out their differences. She mediated the arguments that soon followed between all of her friends, even needing to use her wind to take away all of their voices briefly. Despite a fight breaking out, Sofia proved that she truly was the heart of the team as almost all of the drama was squashed after their night of bonding. [New X-Men: Academy X #15, Yearbook Special]